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Smoking: Problems With Pregnancy

Topic Overview

If you are a woman who smokes and you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant, now is a good time to quit smoking. Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to have the following problems:footnote 1

  • Stillbirths and miscarriages.
  • Babies who grow more slowly in the uterus and weigh less than expected when born (low birth weight).
  • Children who have learning, emotional, and behavioral problems.

If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or sometime during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.

References

Citations

  1. Fiore MC, et al. (2008). Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Also available online: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/treating_tobacco_use08.pdf.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine

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